Friday, December 19, 2014

My First Ever Holiday Letter

 Greetings from Momma and Poppa Baer!

2014 was a wonderful one for the Baer family. Let me begin by stating that Steve and I are grateful to have survived this year's New Jersey bear hunting season. We laid low for a few weeks, not wanting local hunters to knock us off.

The year began with a trip to see the kids and grandkids in Florida. Why anyone wants to live in a state with interminable red lights and streets too wide to cross before the light changes is beyond me, but anyway…We had a wonderful visit, except for the minor car accident incurred (Meryl was driving) with our rental vehicle.  

There was another slight accident a few weeks later at home. Meryl, again in the driver’s seat, was sitting at a traffic light when the car in front of her backed up – the driver was too far into the intersection – bumping into her car. Only minor damage resulted.

We returned home from Florida to frigid weather and frozen water pipes. An unnamed relative (to protect the guilty) was supposed to check the house. She realized the house felt cold, but figured we set the heat very low because we are cheap. Not bothering to inspect the toilets, she did not notice the frozen water in the bowls and tanks.

Our friend Bill the plumber fixed the pipes, then he and his wife left for an extended Arizona vacation (immediately after we paid him). We stayed home the rest of the winter and set the temperature low, but not low enough to freeze the pipes again. Luckily our son works for the Pajamagram Company and sent us cozy Hoodie-Footies that helped us survive the winter.

We took a number of trips this year, visiting the grandkids as well as a couple of true vacations. Meryl landed in the emergency room on two of our outings. The doctors thought it might be appendicitis, or gall bladder, or too much chocolate consumption. It turned out to be none of these ailments. Both times the doctors prescribed a strong painkiller and antibiotic, and she was fine.

Meryl accompanied Steve on a business trip to New Orleans, and was lucky enough to spend a day meeting and mingling with locals while in a dentists’ chair. The dentist prescribed a painkiller and antibiotics (sound familiar!) and, upon returning home, she spent additional time at an endodontist and dentist enduring a root canal and capped tooth.

Steve had an uneventful year healthwise. He passed - with flying colors - his regularly scheduled colonoscopy (stop by the house and we’ll show you the pictures), and enjoyed a trip to the hospital so the doctor could examine his heart, which turned out to be in great shape for a guy his age. No stent or other paraphernalia needed! Good job Steve!

Another milestone Steve experienced this year was acceptance into the Medicare health program. Way to go Steve!

We worked on improving our diet, joining a CSA farm and receiving a box of organic veggies each week - until the CSA encountered difficulties, missing a couple of deliveries. We savored pizza and other forbidden foods during the hiatus, but then got back on track. Unfortunately the CSA suffered a fire in late fall which destroyed its office and some equipment, but should be up and running by spring.

We hosted a lot of friends and family this year, all descending during the summer. No one wants to visit us at the shore during the rest of the year. Actually, before moving to the beach, family and friends did not want to visit us any time of the year.

A June storm downed wires and left us without electricity for a couple of days, but the weather cooperated and we did not need air conditioning. We bought ice from the local store before supplies ran out and saved our freezer and refrigerator foods.

A few additional notes before signing off –

Steve made new friends this year, befriending a couple of local policemen when they knocked on our door one day. Once the initial problem was straightened out, they had a nice visit.

Steve worked all year, except for days missed when his computer froze and his company’s IT guy, on vacation, was unavailable to debug the machine. He will enter almost total retirement mode next year, working three or four days a month or whenever weather forces him indoors.

Meryl enjoyed exercise classes and follow-up visits to the chiropractor to adjust bones displaced during class.

Enough about our family’s delightful, event-filled year. We hope everyone experiences a wonderful holiday season and a happy and healthy 2015.

Until next year,

The Baers 


  1. Hope the fun-filled events continue and/or improve in the coming new year.

  2. Well, that is definitely a one-of-a-kind Christmas letter, Meryl. To say I enjoyed it is an understatement. However, I really do hope that 2015 will bring the Baers more happiness of the normal sort. :-)

  3. When you are funny, you are really funny. The thought of you mixing it up with the locals from a dentists chair...... and not getting shot by a bear hunter...did I read that right?

  4. Seems like for someone who had a lot of accidents and antibiotics, fire and frozen pipes . . . you had a very good year. I guess nothing takes the shine off a clean colonoscopy!

  5. Hope your CSA farmer is able to be resurrected. We have been doing CSA boxes for years now and can't imagine our life without them.

  6. Best letter ever! Glad you are keeping your optimism through satire. Glad I dropped by.